Right to Vote in Doubt

The feeling that we’re closing in on this year’s commune elections is evident, not in a way that upcoming elections are evident back home, but still. Below is a summary of two interesting articles recently published in the Cambodian Daily on problems with the official voter list, something that was noticed in a survey by the Committee for Free and Fair Elections (COMFREL), a Cambodian NGO and political/ electoral watchdog.

The Cambodian electoral watchdog COMFREL recently released findings from a survey saying that as many as 1.5M Cambodians may  not be properly recorded  in the national voter list, meaning that they could loose their right to vote in the upcoming commune elections.

COMFREL’s findings are based on a survey of 8,772 registered voters chosen at random across the country between October 2011 and January 2012. Comparing survey data to the National Election Committee’s (NEC) updated voter list it was found that 17.2% of the people in the survey either could not be found on the official NEC voter list or their names had been changed; the discrepancies was the highest in Phnom Penh (12.7%).

Further, COMFREL found that the total number of registered voters are much greater than the actual number of eligible voters; 400,000 people. There are a total of 8.8M people eligible to vote in Cambodia, the NEC’s official voter list contains 9.2M registered names.

Ruling party CPP lawmaker questioned the results because they were based on sample of voters and not the entire voting population. “If only 8.8M are eligible to vote, how come 9.2M are registred?” he asked. “We can only conclude that it’s not accurate.”

Always good to have other countries’ democratic/ electoral situation in mind when thinking about how (good) we have it, e.g. in Sweden.

Read more here >>



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